Social Media Use

Read time: 2.5 minutes

TL;DR

  • Insurance companies may look to your social media account for any post that could cast doubt on your personal injury claim in an effort to settle for the least amount of money  as quickly as possible.
  • If an insurance company can find these posts, they do not have to get your permission to view them or use them as evidence, and even if your accounts are completely private, insurance companies can request posts they can’t see through court orders or as part of the discovery process in trial.
  • The best thing you can do when going through a personal injury claim is to deactivate all your personal accounts, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • If you do keep your accounts active, DO NOT post about any conversations with your attorney, information about your injuries/treatment, problems with your claim, case information, etc.

 

Social media has become a part of most people’s everyday lives and can be a great way to share different aspects of your life. It’s also a good way to stay in touch with friends and family. But, if you are involved in a personal injury claim, sharing too much on social media can have a negative effect on your case.

 

How can social media have a negative effect on my case?

 

Most personal injury matters involve a claim with an insurance company. Insurance companies want to settle claims for the least amount of money they can, as quickly as possible. In order to do this, they will try to find evidence they can use to reduce the value of your claim. One of the easiest places to gather this evidence against you is your social media accounts. Insurance companies are looking for any post that could cast doubt on any part of your claim. For example, if you are claiming that you suffered a back injury that has left you unable to pick up and hold heavy objects, a post with a  picture of you holding a child could be used as evidence that you are exaggerating your injury or have no injury at all.

 

But how are insurance companies finding this information?

 

The simple answer is all content posted to social media accounts on the internet is public. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy for social media accounts. Even if you adjust your privacy settings, your friends or followers can inadvertently grant others access to your content. This is often done through functions like comments or tagging in photographs.

 

If an insurance company’s employees or representatives can find these posts, they do not have to get your permission to view them or use them as evidence. Even if your accounts are completely private, insurance companies can request posts they can’t see through court orders or as part of the discovery process in trial. Insurance companies will find a way to see your posts.

 

What should you do?

 

The best thing you can do when going through a personal injury claim is to deactivate all your personal accounts, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This can be difficult for some people, especially if you conduct a lot of business through social media.

 

If you do keep your accounts active, there are certain topics and information that you should not post about at all. This can include:

 

  • Any conversations between you and your attorney
  • Any information about your injuries or treatment
  • Problems you are having or getting treatment for with your claim
  • Any conversations you had with others about your case
  • Any information regarding facts or legal theories about your accident

 

Dealing with a personal injury claim on your own can be daunting. If you have been in an accident, contact our office so that we can help you achieve the best outcome.

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